U.S. elections are mainly conducted “first by post.”
Jacksonville, Fla. – The Florida judge has resigned and withdrew from the Duval County Voting Committee after discovering that he had repeatedly donated to President Trump’s re-election campaign and discovered other Republican efforts.
The residence of Brent Shore, the senior judge of Duval County, is full of signs supporting Trump. Although there are regulations requiring judges like him not to donate or receive public support, because he is a county judge, He was the chairman of the canvassing committee.
However, Florida judicial rules prohibit judges from making political donations of any kind.
Moreover, the canvassing committee prohibits bar members from “displaying the candidate’s campaign logo.”
Senior County Judge Brent Shore refused to change the rules prohibiting the public from taking photos or recording vote-counting meetings. He first donated $20 to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. Since then, he has donated 11 more times to Trump, totaling $170, and has donated $178 to the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senate Committee in the past two years.
The resignation came a few hours after the Florida Times Alliance of USA Today reported in detail Shore’s campaign donations.
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Outside his house, in his yard there is a Trump logo and two Republican U.S. Representative John Rutherford logos. A Trump penny banner hung on his front window, and four stickers were attached to the window glass of his front door.
One reader said: “The Americans of Trump Agenda”. “Keep the enthusiasm of Congress.”
Violation of judicial norms may put Shaw in front of the Judicial Qualifications Committee. Shaw will not answer the questions of this story. Before the Judicial Qualifications Committee, the judge will be prosecuted or even dismissed according to the seriousness of the violation.
Shore may also violate the rules for canvassing board members. The election committee has been counting mailed ballots until election day. It is a three-member committee led by county commissioners, election supervisors and county judges. They are prohibited from “actively participating” in election campaigns or supporting candidates.
The Election Department stated that although campaign donations are not considered active participation, “displaying the candidate’s campaign logo” will prevent someone from canvassing votes.
If Shaw does not resign, the opinion of another election department stated that removing him from the board of directors “may eventually require judicial proceedings to be resolved.”
A spokesperson for the Election Department did not respond to a request for comment.
Although Shore did not respond to a request for comment, his wife Kathryn Petway Shore (Kathryn Petway Shore) answered questions at their home in Atlantic Beach on Wednesday night and asked to know how the reporter knew her husband had Donate to Trump.
Then she said that the donor database of the Federal Election Commission must be wrong because her husband did not donate to Trump.
She said: “I believe that my husband did this not just because someone put it on the list. The donation indicated that they were from Brent Douglas Shore, who listed the home address and Said his profession was “judge”, “judicial” and “retirement” and listed “Florida” as his employer.
She said that the six signs and stickers supporting the Trump campaign and the two signs of Rutherford belonged to her rather than her husband.
She said: “My husband will never do anything immoral or improper.” “I am not a judge. Those signs are mine. Yes, that’s half of my front yard.”
She said that the sign of the other half of the yard is also hers. However, the judicial ethics viewpoint clearly states that spouses cannot post political signs in the front yard of the house where the judge lives.
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Duval’s canvas committee consists of election director Mike Hogan, city councillor Michael Boylan and county judge Gary Flower. But since the board of directors started correcting votes last week, Flower has been absent, and Shaw has been leading the board.
Flower did not respond to emails or voicemails this week.
Hogan said he had no comment because he did not know about Shaw’s donation or the sign in Shaw’s yard.
“Lack of transparency”
Shore often reacted harshly to the media and Duval Democrat lawyers.
Recently, although Florida courts have repeatedly ruled that uninterrupted photography or recording of board meetings cannot be prohibited, Shore has been criticized for his handling of the board because the committee prohibits the public and the media from taking photos or videos of the lawsuit.
Although Flower made the initial rules, Shore, who criticized the media reports, refused to change the rules. He said that if he allowed reporters to take photos, he would need a “nanny”.
When Democratic lawyers asked to see duplicate votes counted as votes, Shaw said that since he read the duplicate votes to them, they accused him of lying. He said that although lawyers have the right to request a vote, the issue is one of trust.
Before election day, the canvassing bulletin board helps to ensure that mail votes are counted.
When the mailed ballots are rejected by the voting machine, the staff divides the ballots into two piles: one pile involves the votes of voters, and the other pile of votes without voters.
The Canvassing Committee reviews the votes of voters’ intentions. For example, someone fills in multiple bubbles in the same game or uses a check mark instead of filling the bubbles, and then the staff fills in a new ballot with the committee’s decision. Then count the votes.
Even though he and other board members agreed to live broadcast parts of the meeting, the board still failed to show these remade ballots.
If the court rules that the committee violated the state’s Sunshine Act, the court may invalidate all the committee’s votes so far and force it to start again.
Lawyers for the First Amendment to the Constitution said that Shore’s refusal to allow photography risks delaying the Florida election results.
Although most votes submitted to the board of directors are fairly easy decisions, some are more difficult.
In one case, a voter filled in bubbles for Rutherford and Donna Deegan, Rutherford’s opponent, Democratic candidate. Voters wrote some cursive scripts beside the vote. For some listeners, this book seems difficult to understand.
The board of directors, including Shore, had two Rutherford signs in their yard, and they debated what to do before deciding to count Rutherford’s votes, rather than ruling that the votes were too large.
Dan Smith, a political scientist at the University of Florida, said: “It’s not just the emergence of partisanship that has led to our lack of confidence in the electoral system.” “In Duval County, this is also a lack of transparency.”
Follow reporter Andrew Pantazi on Twitter: @apantazi
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